Boy, with the way 2020 is shaping up so far, I think we could all use a drink. One of the things I miss the most from pre-coronavirus times is treating myself to a cocktail over the weekend. Sure, Washington has plenty of great local breweries and wineries, but there’s something extra special about sipping a drink made by a professional mixologist.
With my mission accepted, I’ve tracked down four great bars in Seattle that are serving up cocktails to go (and a few that can even be delivered!) so you can enjoy happy hour at home.
Sometimes, it truly is better to think pink. As the name would suggest, Pie Bar serves up a bubbly combination of delicious pies (both sweet and savory) and refreshing cocktails. With multiple locations in Ballard, Capitol Hill and a mobile Pie Truck, Pie Bar ensures you’re never more than a few minutes away from your next bite.
Pie Bar’s Ballard location is currently open for to-go orders through their walk-up window. Their Pink Lemonade cocktail is deliciously tart and served with a lemon slice. To comply with the new Washington State liquor laws, the drink is served with a sealed 50ml bottle of New Amsterdam Vodka, which you can mix in to finish assembling it once you’re home. The Pink Lemonade is bright and citrusy, and pairs beautifully with Pie Bar’s delectable Apple Crumble. In terms of price, Pie Bar’s cocktails are reasonable, and the low cost of a slice of pie means you’re practically obligated to buy one. It’s a must-try if you’re looking for a fun, indulgent afternoon.
Percy’s & Co.
If you’re in the mood for a headier cocktail with bold flavors you have to wrap your mind around, there’s no better spot than Percy’s & Co. in Ballard. Styling itself an “apothecary bar and restaurant,” Percy’s is not afraid to play with your taste buds with their fanciful concoctions. The bar is currently offering bottled cocktails to-go, with two servings per bottle.
If you’re not sure where to start with Percy’s esoteric cocktail menu, I’d recommend either Awakened One or Honeybee. Awakened One is a zesty mixture of lemongrass-infused vodka, cocchi americano, pineapple, lime, ginger and cilantro. The result is a tart, pucker-inducing cocktail with just a bit of bite for those who like to sip their drinks slowly. On the flip side, Honeybee is made with rosemary-infused gin, lemon, lavender and honey. If Awakened One is designed to perk up your taste buds, Honeybee is like a warm hug for your mouth. The combination of rosemary and lavender lends this cocktail an almost savory flavor that will leave you feeling satisfied.
A trip to Percy’s is a great detour to add to your weekend, but be advised that their selection of cocktails may be limited depending on what time of day you visit. For the best selection, be sure to go early in the day. Though it’s a little pricey, Percy’s is a great option for exploring new flavors and trying something you couldn’t throw together at home.
Nothing screams sophistication quite like a gin cocktail from Joli. Located near Phinney Ridge, this classy establishment focuses on craft gin cocktails and draft cocktails, with an emphasis on service. Though I couldn’t visit in person, their service-oriented philosophy certainly revealed itself as it was one of a scant few bars that would deliver all the way up to my neighborhood in Northgate.
While Joli’s ethos revolves around their handcrafted gin cocktails, their food certainly should not be ignored. Any one of the flatbreads provides an excellent accompaniment to your drink, and in particular the Lox Flatbread is a deliciously elevated take on an old favorite.
For my drink, I chose the facetiously-named “You Lost?” cocktail, and after one sip I wondered if I was. The cocktail is made with Big Gin Bourbon-Barrel Aged Gin, Amaro Nonino, Cynar, Gran Classico and orange bitters. While this may sound like a relatively straightforward concoction, it hit hard. The drink offered bitter flavor notes and left a clean aftertaste, but the gin was certainly more than I bargained for. If you’re in the mood for something strong you can sip over a slow night in, this is the one to go with. (Also, there is no shame in adding a few ice cubes to temper the gin if you need to.) With a reasonable price point and about half-a-dozen other cocktails to choose from, including martinis and spritzes, Joli is one that I will be revisiting in the future.
A longtime favorite in Capitol Hill, Cure Cocktail Bar & Charcuterie deftly serves up sumptuous dishes and classic cocktails. This hip spot is currently providing everything you need to add a little excitement to your next date night or even play bartender at home.
Offering pre-made drinks, fully-stocked cocktail kits, the ultimate charcuterie board, delectable flatbread and even flowers (all with free delivery!) the trouble with Cure is figuring out where to start. In accordance with Washington State liquor laws, all alcohol must be ordered with food, so plan for a luxurious dinner no matter what.
After scrolling through their extensive menu, I went with Cure’s Vodka Triple Threat kit, which comes complete with everything needed to make two servings each of a Cosmo, Moscow Mule and Lemon Drop. Not being a professional bartender myself, Cure made the mixology super simple, with pre-measured ingredients and an online tutorial to guide me through the process. I started with the Cosmo, and was pleasantly surprised at the results of my amateur bartending. Despite not owning a martini glass, the drink looked and tasted great, complete with a fresh lime wedge.
For my food order, I sampled Cure’s Prosciutto Flatbread, featuring 500-day cured prosciutto and a savory pesto spread. Hearty, simple and sumptuous, it was everything I could ever want from a flatbread.
While Cure’s cocktail kits and food are top-notch, it can be expensive. For this reason, you should save your Cure order for an extra-special date night (or for an indulgent treat-yourself moment), and wow your friends and loved ones with your newfound bartending skills.
Happy Hour at Home
The monotony of self-isolation and the uncertainty of the times don’t mean you can’t take the load off and relax every once in a while. Seattle still has a thriving cocktail scene, and now you can enjoy your favorite drinks from the comfort of your own home.